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In 2020, the global business travel market was valued at $695.9 billion. By 2028, it is projected to reach over $2.1 trillion, growing at a CAGR of 13.2%. Increasing globalization, the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and the rise of the events industry are responsible for driving this growth. 

Technology-driven travel management company ITS focuses on providing companies, including the likes of EasyJet, American Airlines, and Amazon, with all of the functionalities needed to manage corporate travel. The platform features an event management system, a disruption management platform, and a quality checking platform for bookings. More recently, ITS has also been exploring the use cases of blockchain technology within the industry. 

TripEasy Simplifies Complicated Corporate Travel 

TripEasy is the ITS corporate online booking engine. Like Expedia or Orbitz, it aggregates possible travel options across a plethora of airlines, hotels, and transport options, but can be customized to fit company travel policies, thereby taking the guesswork and frustration out of business travel. The application is browser-based and has an iOS and Android mobile app. 

TripEasy has five different product flows, including:

  • Air travel, which lets users select different combinations of air travel requests.
  • Hotels and cars, which lets users select cars and hotels where the companies have negotiated discounted rates.
  • Policies and rules, which applies company preferences for employee travel.
  • Booking, in which selected itineraries are priced and booked.
  • Admin, which allows employees to manage their profile and allows corporate policy managers to oversee their users. 

The platform also features a ‘product marketplace’ that allows users to select their preferences. For instance, they can choose to travel with a specific airline or stay in a specific hotel. All of this information is stored in a database. 

ITS gathers its air itineraries, hotels, and cars from many different third-party vendors. For instance, air itineraries come from a global distribution system (GDS), such as Sabre or Amadeus. ITS’ Vice President of Engineering Barti Somaasundaram explains, “When the user makes a request in real-time, we contact all of these APIs, get the data, consolidate the data, apply the business rules, and then report it back to the user. All of these things are done while the user is waiting for the next set of results to show up on the screen.” 

Providing a streamlined booking experience that provides the easiest, most compliant itinerary means constantly updating their application for optimal performance. 

Re-Architecting a Legacy Application

The ITS application was written approximately fifteen years ago, when monolithic architecture was common practice. But dealing with unpredictable travel site traffic demanded a more dynamic decoupled service-based architecture that continued ITS’ dedication to stress-free booking experiences. For example, if a flight is canceled, ITS and other travel sites are likely to see a surge in visitors. A modernized application would allow the ITS team further improve their customer experience and functionality across their wide-ranging use cases. 

The team’s goal was to improve app performance and enable it to dynamically scale with unpredictable search traffic patterns. They also wanted to ensure that the app’s functionality was maintained, and that it was able to validate customer-specific use cases on specific policies and routes, as well as negotiate fares. Critically, ITS also needed to migrate customers without issues.

The application is currently live in production, and the first customers have been migrated to the new platform. ITS plans to have all customers migrated in early 2023. 

mabl helped ITS reduce test run time from 11 hours to 2.5 hours

The new microservice architecture is designed to make the ITS experience as fast and seamless as possible. Test automation with mabl helps ensure that Barti’s team can manage quality across all functionalities and user journeys. 

ITS currently has nine websites, each of which must be tested in QA, staging, and production environments. Since each corporation can register administrative users and travelers, each unique role must also be tested across different permissions and privileges.  This means that as part of every release, the company needs to test the functionality of each of these sites, and ensure that the user interface (UI) is validated through all of the page features in all environments. In total, there are over 800 test cases across 80 test plans in mabl, which ensure that ITS can manage quality throughout the entire user journey. 

“We've been using mabl for about three years now and we have been steadily improving our overall test coverage,” says Barti. 

Time savings with mabl have played a major role in that improvement. The team does three deployments into the QA environment each day, immediately followed by automated sanity testing. Developers then receive an automated email showing the quality of each build almost instantly. This rapid feedback allows the team to quickly address any issues and test any fixes within ITS’ two-week sprint cycles. 

“If any of these cases break, it’s an absolute break,” explains Barti. “We get the output of these tests almost immediately. It gives an immediate feedback loop to the developers to make sure that the build quality is stable, and that at any given time we will be able to move into a QA or stage environment.” 

ITS prioritizes speed to market, which means that it does bi-weekly release cycles. With mabl, ITS has reduced the total run time for its 800 test cases from 11 hours of manual testing to 2.5 hours of automated testing. Next, ITS plans to turn its focus to API and mobile automation using mabl’s Jenkins integration

Continuing to Set the Bar in Business Travel

Testing ensures that an intensive modernization and complex architecture translate to seamless user experience with ITS.  When it comes to lessons learned, Barti offers the following advice to teams looking to improve their testing strategy: “Based on what we saw, I think it is important to have a dedicated team that is undisturbed by anything else to be fully focused on these modernization or re-architecture efforts.”

Watch Barti’s mabl Experience 2022 presentation and the rest of our on-demand sessions here..